- 一般社団法人 日本オリエント学会
- オリエント (ISSN:00305219)
- vol.52, no.2, pp.76-92, 2010-03-31 (Released:2014-03-31)
In classical discussions on the waḥdat al-wujūd (“Unity of Existence”), absolute existence (al-wujūd al-muṭlaq), that is “existence” itself, is recognized as the one and only reality. Existence is, in this system, identified with God, i.e. the “Necessarily Existent” (wājib al-wujūd), the entire universe being conceived to be self-manifestations of it. However, in the second half of the fourteenth century, this conception of existence was subjected to strong criticism by Sa‘d al-Dīn al-Taftāzānī (d. 1389/90).
According to this Timurid philosopher-theologian, identifying existence with the Necessarily Existent is impossible, because “existence” itself is merely a secondary intelligible (al-ma‘qūl al-thānī) to which nothing in the external world corresponds. Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Ḥamzah al-Fanārī (d. 1431), with whom we shall deal in this paper, refuted this attack, thereby laying the ontological foundation of waḥdat al-wujūd. The aim of the present study is firstly to cast some light on this “Taftāzānī-Fanārī controversy” from the viewpoint of “Necessity of Existence,” which plays a decisive role in Fanārī’s whole refutation, and then to elucidate the Ottoman scholar’s strategy in demonstrating the identification of existence with the Necessarily Existent.
Taftāzānī’s criticism revolves around the three themes: 1. classification of existence; 2. existence of the Necessarily Existent and His distance from impurities (qādhūrāt); 3. the Necessarily Existent and unity. In refuting all this criticism, Fanārī posits a concept of “relation” (nisbah). According to Taftāzānī, “existence” is a concept of “being” (mafhūn al-kawn). According to Fanārī, existence thus understood is nothing other than the relation of “existene” itself to the “beings” (kā’ināt), i.e. the created things. Fanārī salvages the identification of “existence” itself with the Necessarily Existent through this equation of what Taftāzānī calls “existence” with the relation of existence.